ELON, N.C. – A second-half surge from the Chattanooga Lady Mocs proved to be too much for the Elon University women’s basketball team to overcome on Saturday night, Dec. 3, as the Phoenix fell, 59-46, in its Southern Conference opener in Alumni Gym.
“We have to do a better job of executing a shot selection. We had several open looks tonight that we just weren’t able to score on,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We’re a better team than what we showed tonight and I know we will do a better job the second time around and play the way we’re supposed to play.”
Despite trailing by two points with 14:10 to play in the game, the Phoenix (2-4, 0-1 SoCon) could not hold off the Lady Mocs (4-3, 2-0 SoCon), as UTC went on an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 51-40 lead after a Taylor Hall layup.
Chattanooga held Elon to three field goals over the final 10:19 of the game to secure the win and hand Elon its first SoCon setback of the year.
Ali Ford tied Chattanooga’s Whitney Hood for a game-high 16 points in the setback. Ford is now tied with Barbara Johnson (1986-90) for 10th on Elon’s all-time scoring chart with 1,172 career points.
Kelsey Evans added nine points and four boards off the bench in her first game since Nov. 18.
Lisa Archie led the Phoenix with eight boards, while Sam Coffer grabbed seven after starting for only the second time in her collegiate career.
Chattanooga’s Taylor Hall ended the night with a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Lady Mocs finished with a 52-39 advantage on the glass, but only a slim 16-14 edge in points in the paint.
Elon shot 28 percent from the field on the night. After going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, Elon could not convert on all seven of its second-half three-point attempts.
The Phoenix committed a season-low 12 turnovers, while forcing the Lady Mocs into 14.
Elon battled back from a seven-point deficit midway though the game to make it a three-point contest, 29-26, at intermission. Both squads knocked down four three-point field goals in the opening frame, as Elon shot 29 percent from the field (8-of-28) and limited UTC to 31-percent (11-of-36) shooting.
Elon managed to pull within two points early in the second half, but the Lady Mocs claimed a nine-point lead with less than 13 minutes to play after Meghan Downes knocked down a three-ball from the right wing to make it a 47-38 game.
Kayla Christopher pushed the UTC advantage to 12 points shortly after the eight-minute media timeout after connecting with a three-pointer from the right wing to make it a 54-42 game.
Chattanooga would go ahead by as many as 14 points in the second half after a Hood jumper put the maroon and gold behind, 56-42, with 6:19 remaining in the game.
Elon remains at home for a 7 p.m. tilt on Monday night, Dec. 5, against the defending league champion Samford Bulldogs.